Google is trying to get in with the social-networking crowd with a new service called Google+.
Acknowledging that the social service still has "rough edges," Google+ is designed around "Circles" that allow users to group people within their social sphere into different categories. The social service includes a feature called Hangouts that lets you find others who are "hanging out" on the Web. If you decide to join a given hangout, you'll be able to engage in a video chat with the others there.
Google's first major foray into the social networking world came by way of Orkut, a service that has seen some success outside the States but has largely been ignored by U.S. users. Google tried its luck again with the launch of its Buzz social network, but the service came under fire from users who criticized the service for violating their privacy by automatically making some of their contacts public.
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